I found a really helpful article from I Quit Sugar, about different ways to stop sugar cravings. I hope you find this useful, as it did for me!
Do you have an insatiable appetite for sweet things? Whether you’re constantly craving cookies or forever daydreaming about dessert, sugar addiction can be a tough habit to break.
With sugar reported to be as addictive as cocaine, the road to food freedom is paved with some serious cravings, especially in the first few weeks. The good news: you can break your addiction. It might not be easy, but it WILL be worth it.
The challenge: You can’t say no to that tub of ice cream in your freezer.
The solution: The easiest way to stop cravings is to remove access to the offender. Don’t buy it, walk past it or order it. Sugar cravings are easier to avoid if you can’t see the jar of chocolate spread in your pantry, or don’t have packets of jellies in your top drawer at work, so give yourself the best chance of beating them by not purchasing them in the first place!
The challenge: You’re not ready to dump Saturday night cocktails with the girls, just yet.
The solution: “We all have rituals and people we associate with eating sugar, and although physical addiction only lasts a few days, the habit stays for a lot longer,” Laura says. “So initially I would change your social habits and create some new ones that are associated with your new lifestyle.” How? If you can’t resist the choc-chip muffins at the cafe you go to for brunch, pick a place where they’re not on the menu. Better yet, create new habits that don’t revolve around food at all. Book a massage, go for a walk or watch your favorite movie.
The challenge: You’re always so freaking hungry, you reach for the quickest, easiest option to fill up. And usually it’s the sweetest.
The solution: “crowd out.” Fill up on veggies, proteins and good fats so there’s little room left for much else. Laura agrees: “The satiety receptors in the brain for protein and fats work faster than sugar, and so we feel full and satisfied more quickly and remain that way for longer. We don’t get blood sugar crashes from them either so they don’t lead to cravings.”
The challenge: You just need something sweet. Anything, dammit!
The solution: Did you hear the one about sniffing vanilla essence to beat sugar cravings? No joke, really! According to Laura, “Vanilla has been proven to have a strong effect at curbing cravings for sugar, by tricking your senses into thinking that the craving has been satisfied and make you feel fuller.” Also try adding some sweet cinnamon to your sugar-free tea or a spoonful of coconut oil with cacao powder for a fructose-free chocolate hit.
The challenge: You’ve tried everything and still can’t quite quit your cookie craving.
The solution: Try fermented foods. Kombucha, kefir, kimchi and co. can kill cravings quicker than you can spell sauerkraut. Ferments a little too funky for you? Listen to Laura and add chromium or magnesium to your diet. “Chromium- and magnesium-rich foods help improve your cells’ sensitivity to insulin to maximise the amount of sugar we are able to burn. The more efficient this process is, the less insulin is needed to process the sugar and helps to prevent a blood sugar crash a few hours later. It is when we have crashed that we crave sugar the most.” Foods rich in chromium and magnesium include dark green leafy veggies, almonds, pumpkin seeds, romaine lettuce, raw onions, broccoli, green beans and black pepper.
The challenge: Kale just ain’t cutting it for a comfort meal.
The solution: “People use and crave food for so much more than to satisfy their hunger and feed their body.” Ask yourself what do you really need. If you’re lonely pick up the phone and talk to someone who will cheer you up. Feeling anxious or angry, try yoga or hit the treadmill. Want to celebrate? Get a manicure. If nothing but a slice of cake will do, recreate a sugar-free version.